Recently Sophie put out a call for everyone's favourite sewing patterns both on her blog and facebook page.
I’d been planning on doing a post detailing my favourite kid’s patterns during the whole Handmade Kid's Clothing Swap madness but I have sooo many favourite patterns and the thought of linking to all them stressed me out a tad, but I’m in the mood now, and Sophie’s put the call out so here I go! (I warn you, this post is gonna be loooonng!)
I am rather a fan of the PDF pattern thing – the printing and taping them together not so much, but the accessibility and instant downloading – yes please!
There are a few things I look for when buying a pattern – style, versatility and ease/ skill level required.
Style is an obvious one really – I mean you’re not going to buy a pattern if you don’t like the style/ look it produces! Duh! Sometimes the clincher for me when buying a PDF pattern is doing a google search of the pattern name – have other people made awesome things using it? Have I got fabric/ can I easily get fabric that would work and look awesome for this pattern?
Versatility is a pretty big factor for me when buying a pattern. What is the size range of this pattern/ what variations can I make/ is it unisex? (In other words, is it good value for money?)
When thinking of versatility I immediately think of The Street Smart Sweatshirt Collection by Lydia of Little Kiwis Closet. Lydia is a friend so of course I’d say nice things, but I truly love this pattern. It is unisex, can be made with a hood or not, other embellishments such as a kangaroo pocket (or whatever your imagination decrees) and a dress or high low hem version can be made. And the size range is an amazing NB- 12 years!!! (Heck, I even made myself one by extending the 12 year old pattern a bit!)
This versatility (and great instructions) are kind of a trademark of all LKC patterns. I really love the Scalloped Princess Dress too which despite being a bit more work is super versatile and will definitely be my standby “Mum, make me a frozen/tangled/snow white etc… Princess dress”
In terms of versatility Go to Patterns also tick the boxes for me (please be warned that that is an affiliate link so if you purchase using that link I will gain some more pattern/fabric money! You have been warned!)
Go to Patterns is a curated online modern sewing pattern store which was started by Andrea Pannell (the designer behind the Go To Patterns brand); but also includes other amazing designers too. I have and love the Go To Signature Dress a little knit dress which can be sewn SO many different ways! And I also own a lot of the Blank Slate Patterns which I find great for the sometimes elusive boy’s patterns. I particularly love the blank tank and basic's blazer. I also would love to try some of the designer’s on that site’s patterns – most particularly See Kate Sew and Figgy's because I really love their design aesthetic!
The Go to Patterns site is also really great to navigate – you can search by pattern type or season; as well as by designer, skill level or size. … And they often have great bundle deals and sales … speaking of sales there is one on now use coupon code “LABORDAY” (US spelling ;) ) to get 20% off your order of $10 or more.
Another pattern designer who I really love is Elegance and Elephants (Another affiliate link). If you followed my KCW sewing you will have also seen me thrash The Bubble Pocket Shorts Pattern (see my versions below), but I’d also love to try the Bohemian Babydoll and the Spring Showers Jacket.
I know this post is super long! But I couldn’t not include writing a little something about Straightgrain. I have long been in love with An’s style and colour choices and I was lucky enough to be a pattern tester for her Lua Sleep Sac pattern and I’ve made a bubble skirt using her FREE Bubble Skirt pattern and tutorial; but I’d also to The Bubble Dress and The Hanami Top/ Dress.
This brings me to my last thing I look for when buying patterns – ease/ skill level.
Obviously you want to buy a pattern you think you can successfully make – BUT at the same time I think it’s great to challenge yourself too! Please don’t be scared of knit fabric, zips and buttons! These things are NOT AS SCARY as you think – and there are heaps of online tutorials and even youtube clips to guide you through such things. Having said that, if you are a complete beginner I think it’s best to perhaps try out a few free tutorials before buying a pattern. There are a heap of free peasant tops and dresses online which are a great place to start, as well as a simple skirt and I love these free shorts patterns: The Sunny Day Shorts pattern from Oliver & S and the Sycamore Shorts pattern. Of course, I also think you should try out Little Kiwi's Closet FREE woollen vest pattern!
For knits – perhaps try Go To Sew's Free Leggings Pattern – leggings are a great place for a newbie knit sewer to start!
I really love sewing with knits and plan to post something here in the near future with helpful hints and other good patterns to start on – but I think the biggest hint is not to be scared and just to dive in on something like these leggings!
Phew! I think I’ll have to wrap things up now! I’ll probably be back at some stage with a post on my favourite Women’s patterns and general selfish sewing inspiration! But I think that’s enough from me for now!
I hope that’s answered your question, Sophie?
…And now, I want to buy a whole lot more patterns – thanks for that ;)
What’s your favourite kid’s pattern of the moment – post a link below